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About LMaxwell

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  1. Your service charges, gratuity, etc., whatever you wish to label it goes to a number of different hotel and service operations support teams. However, gratuity, at least in the eastern US where I am from, is used as an additional amount to thank a server. What they do after (house rules on divvying) is on them. So the company advertises an experience and service level; if a guest feels they are not receiving what has been promised, they retain the right to do as they please regarding this charge. So long as the cruise lines label it a gratuity, it will be optional. If they were to call it a daily resort fee, they could make it compulsory. The industry chooses not to do so, primarily for what I assume is advertising and marketing reasons. All that said, if you receive poor service that impacts your vacation, you retain the right to do what you want with the money. You aren't receiving what you've paid for, make a decision what you believe is the best course of action. That the company set up a poor system to guilt trip guests for the failings of some staff really is unfortunate. I removed mine on a 3 day cruise where both Saturday and Sunday at the main pool on the ship, non-smoking area, we encountered smokers. Directly asked deck staff to address the situation and was told they could not confront the smokers and upset them. 2 days in a row. Was not looking for prime next to pool spot, just 2 chairs together with a bit of shade in the non-smoking section. On the second day that this happened and the staff would not do anything I decided I was not receiving the vacation the company had advertised; I was essentially paying fees for services and amenities I could not use because the company would not enforce its own rules. I had given the company the opportunity to fix the problem. They declined. So I only had one remaining action; talk corporate lingo. ($$$). What would my preference have been? Ideally to never have the issue, but short of that, having the issue addressed promptly the first time it was brought to the staffs attention and not having to go to guest services. Staff that were not empowered by the company to correct and resolve the situation ended up costing money (on the accounting sheet). I verified I could tip those I wished to in cash and they could keep it. Perhaps the staff think the rule breakers wouldn't even be that courteous and so ticking me off was the less damaging option than ticking off the smokers? I think companies are more responsive to $$$ than they are to surveys. A survey result is difficult to pin down what it means to $$$. Seeing $$$ removed from bottomline is much easier to interpret.
  2. Most won't be an issue; if they call you down for luggage tell them what it is for. No big deal.
  3. I agreed with much of your thought process and statement, however I wonder what makes you believe that royal takes these things seriously. What indication do you have of that and what does it mean?
  4. in almost 30 years of cruising I've never heard anyone boast about that, let alone heard them discuss it. If you want to change, amend, modify, remove the gratuity charge you don't need to make up any stories to do so. Why would people go to the bother of fabricating a story, and then share and brag about it to strangers? That makes no sense to me. Just ask. Interesting thought; what's with all these people hanging out at guest services on the final night and hearing all these conversations? I'm not at guest services, so maybe there is a line of chattering unheard of throughout the week that only occurs on the final night? I don't think I've ever known why another guest was there regardless of what day it was. If you're in that line, what should people assume you are in the line for?
  5. Main Dining Room - Breakfast Daily; large center self-serve with meats, fruits, waffles, pancake bar, fresh cereals and yogurts, about 6-10 hot prepared dishes plus ability to order off menu. Lunch: Sea days; similar setup as breakfast. Dinner, of course. Windjammer: main buffet, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Solarium Bistro: free for all ages, breakfast and lunch. Wipeout cafe: morning and afternoon snacks near sports court Park Cafe for breakfast and lunch in Central Park Doghouse for hotdogs / sausages for lunch Johnny Rockets: Free for breakfast on Allure Cafe Promenade: Quick serve sandwiches and cookies long hours Sorrentos: Pizza and some anti-pasti. Long hours
  6. Looking at a one off 3 day cruise on Divina; I can book w black card benefits for a 5% discount but unsure what benefits are afforded on 3 day cruise? I did read no welcome back party, but specialty dining seems like it would still be included (per terms and conditions). Anyone done a short sailing and can chime in?
  7. Good, better, best is a time tested sales strategy. I think there is a demand for a quiet, relaxed environment with table service and stuff beyond omlettes and pancakes for breakfast.
  8. When these ships debuted they were touted as having a 24 hour WJ. I don't think that ever happened. Yes, needs more late night options. NCL/Carnival/MSC re-open buffets late at night for snacks and have alternate quick serve dining venues. Difficult on Royal after 9pm, especially smaller ships essentially nothing.
  9. You never got "the speech" on the same cruise I got it 5 times. Weird
  10. While I don't see the reason people are getting wound up over frozen french fries and average burgers, I'm serious about breakfast. There is definitely the ability on these ships to have specialty breakfast. Have you seen the a la carte breakfast menu for the MDR lately? It has been reduced to 5 entrees. They have expanded the breakfast buffet in the dining room. Result: Lines to get in on the large ships because the WJ's are absolutely overflowing all morning and afternoon. Personally I like a light breakfast, but if they are going to go all in on specialty every night and lunch on sea days (and sea day lunch in MDR is excellent, so not sure specialty lunch is a big plus here) why not offer specialty breakfasts? No where onboard do they offer anything "up notch" for breakfast if you aren't in a suite.
  11. Careful, that's how you get on a list...
  12. There was no prior issue that I was aware of, so no, I had not. That is why we made a prior plan to get together.
  13. Money is a lever and a universal language. You can just as easily close your bank account and move your money elsewhere. The work may be long and hard, but on a cruise ship you are paying for an experience. Why should a staff member take their bad day out on you? They have supervisors they can speak to, maybe get shift coverage, take a little time to sort out what is going on. Personally that seems like the smart move. The company probably expects good service at all times, not if the staff member is in the mood to provide it. If you pay for service, you should receive reasonable level of service. if you get great, personalized service, and can afford to, give a bit more to show your gratitude. If you receive poor services, pay less. Nothing wrong there.
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